Industrializing the Cisco Media Partner Ecosystem
For several years we have been tracking the progress we have made in the Media and Broadcast industry. The rapid move to IP, the cloud based workflows and the business model challenges that surround our end customers. It’s a wild ride, with lots of change. As a guy from Oklahoma City, I like the Wild West, but not everyone does and it comes with significant challenges for the industry, our customers and the vast partner ecosystem that Cisco has today. This complex media industry and the nature of our media partner ecosystem, one filled with new partnerships, legacy partnerships and continued innovation for Cisco is one that we continue to believe in. To that point we also knew we needed to create rigor around all of this for our partners, to help provide the needed structure, change, evolution and reorganization or what we have started to call, the “Industrialization of the Media Partner Ecosystem”. So as many of us hitch up our wagon for Las Vegas this week to attend the annual NAB show, let’s take a look at what I mean.
Three years ago when we began this journey our initial focus was two-fold. First we created a mechanism by which our customers, partners and Cisco staff could understand how to communicate our value proposition in Media & Entertainment. We did that by creating what we call the Cisco Media Blueprint which has become the guidepost to the architectures and how they map to this important industry. Secondly we knew we had to expand our partner ecosystem with new ISV (independent software vendor) partners recruited to join with Cisco in transitioning this industry to IP which therefore created market validation that we could join and lead the rest of the industry on this journey. We forged new and tighter relationships and lassoed up the likes of Grass Valley, expanding our relationship with EVS beyond just sports, adding Riedel, Lawo, Nevion and many others providing software and systems to our shared end media and broadcast customers. These types of partnerships are very beneficial and a must! In a matter of a few years we have seen great project collaboration at places like the BBC, Canal +, Arena TV, BT, Univision, Sony Pictures, Telstra and NBC just to name a few.
Now we enter the next phase of the strategy and what we call the “industrialization” of a partners media industry practice, whereby we have the legacy Cisco Channel partners building industry expertise to help our ISV partners tackle this market together. Great to see these two different types of partners come together, but not without its challenges. This has required deep inspection of the business, skill sets reviewed, technology reviews, programs, training and much more. I am pleased to say that many partners including WWT, Diversified, Presidio and Videlio have done just that. They have realized that they, in partnership with Cisco have a great role to play as a trusted provider of technology. An example is summed up in this quote:
“World Wide Technology is a leading global technology solutions provider. In partnership with Cisco, we have made a strategic commitment to the Media & entertainment industry. WWT has put a Media-focused team in place and is building out innovative and game changing customer solutions in our Advanced Technology Center, inclusive of Cisco’s IP Fabric for Media Training and Media Authorization Program.”
-Kraig Ecker, WWT Vice President Global Service Provider, Media & Entertainment.
Pretty powerful quote folks!
So how do we take that “realization” of opportunity and put it into action? Well, that’s what we have been working on at Cisco over the past several months. You see, to “industrialize” means to reorganization, create structure, and to streamline (at least according to Wikipedia!) but for this Cisco farm hand it means working the land, inspecting the crops or to put a business spin on it means creating tools, process and streamlining operations to help all of the partners become successful. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Training: We announced this at IBC 2017, but we are now ready to launch our Industry Training for IP Broadcast delivered by Learning @Cisco. While this might not sound like a big deal, we estimate that over 100,000 people in the industry are looking for industry wide training to help them make the move and skill set transition from broadcast to IP. Look for more info on this to be released in the coming weeks with classing filling up shortly.
- New specialty Authorization Program for IP Fabric for Media: Programs have been part of the hallmark of success at Cisco. This program is no different and will streamline and enable partners to gain a better understanding of our IP Fabric for Media solution , provide a roadmap for their personal to learning how to design, sell and implement IP Fabric for Media Solution including establishing a guideline for the required tools/staff, lab, training, testing and ISV interoperability to ensure the systems designed meet the needs of the customers and can be delivered effectively.
- Media Industry Recognition & Certification. At Cisco Partner Summit 2017 we launched this program, but now we are adding the Media & Entertainment industry to the catalog. This program is designed for partners to distinguish themselves as a media industry partner as they work with Cisco, which in exchange will grant them incentives and visibility within the Cisco, the partner community and our customer base through a specific industry authorization.
- Recruitment to drive innovation: While our mainstream channel evolves we also do see new technology players coming into the market. These new ISV’s are important as we reinforce our commitment to the industry, standards bodies and the ecosystem while forging new strategic relationships to drive innovation. Relationships like those announced with Swiftstack, Sony, Cloudian recently and even those expanded upon with industry leaders like Avid, continue to drive adoption and innovation of IP and Cloud based workflows. These newly or expanded upon relationships, plus those partnerships that we have worked so hard on over the past few years to expand upon for this industry are in place for all of our partners to leverage today!
You see these may not be glamorous things to describe in a blog, but just like adding logs to the campfire, they are very important as the industry evolves to IP and for us that evolution really means industrialization of which you will see in action at NAB 2018. So, come check out all of this and much more at the Cisco booth in the South Hall. We promise it won’t be too rowdy!
Here are a few additional resources that we also have for our Media Industry partners to use as they industrialize their work in Media & Entertainment:
Cisco Media case studies and industry overview: www.cisco.com/go/media
Industries Transformation Partner Guide: http://cs.co/customerin (select “media”)
Embrace the partner ecosystem that Cisco has in Media, with tools such as the Ecosystem Partner Locater http://cs.co/epl